It was nice being an author.
But it is over now.
Well, I enjoyed it while it lasted. I hope you did too. Of course sf authors have seen this coming. We just never saw it coming for us.
And we all thought it would be at some distant future date.
Something to worry about then.
Eheu! Fugaces labuntor anni as the great Horace said (personally I think that’s rather a rude thing to say about Annie, but Horace enjoys the protection of being dead). We all thought automation would take the jobs of the other professions first. That the writing of fiction, along with the other creative professions would be a more difficult task than saying ‘do you want fries with that’, or delivering Philosophy lectures, or even designing better mousetraps.
How wrong we were. According to Professor Krisi-Marja Saar-Von Smeullendorf, the director of research at the Voiderveng Literary Science Institute in Uppsala, Finland, her team are now in final testing phase of what she describes as ‘the Ultimate reading experience – a program that analyses the reader’s sales and marketing data, internet search history, and reading choices, to produce individually tailored ‘perfect books’.
Each book will mirror the individual reader’s tastes, biases and preferences perfectly. “Our test readers felt that this was the perfect book* for them, almost as if the book was written for them. They were desperate to buy anything else by the author. The good thing is, when the program is hooked up Toshida A13 mnemic chip ($1.20) inserted into an Apple Mac running Scrivener, and a select download of 18 books to the reader’s taste, it can produce a new novel every seven minutes and nineteen seconds.”
When asked what she thought would happen to the authors, editors and owners of Publishing houses, Prof. Saar-Von Smeullendorf suggested that perhaps they could learn to code.
In the light of this, I think I will learn Morse. Again.
*We have obtained the first page of 23 of the books produced by the program for different readers of fantasy. Oddly, all started with the words ‘In a hole in the ground there lived…’